Much like its predecessor, Killzone 3 is strongly influenced by Hollywood realism. Combat sequences such as firefights pack a strong dramatic punch, while still retaining a sense of gritty authenticity.
Cinematic deaths are the logical progression of this design philosophy, adding a variety of spectacular (and sometimes explosive) new ways for Helghast enemies to perish.
For instance, a Helghast drop ships struck by a barrage of W.A.S.P. projectiles doesn't have to simply drop out of the sky; the force of impact can tear off the ship's stabilizers, causing it to bank and spiral wildly out of control before slamming into the ground with a massive explosion. Of course, this also makes it more difficult to predict where the drop ship will come down, as Sev finds out:
Another cool example is the jetpack trooper: if the player keeps firing on the jetpack's fuel tank it will eventually rupture and ignite, propelling the screaming trooper skyward in a ball of flame. As the fuel burns up, the trooper's charred remains fall back to the ground - and, if the player's lucky, onto the heads of other Helghast soldiers or nearby oil drums.
During playtesting, this particular cinematic death produced an interesting side-effect: after one jetpack trooper was sent flying by an exploding fuel tank, he managed to land on another jetpack trooper, whose fuel tank promptly ignited as well. Though unintentional, the whole domino effect proved such an amazing spectacle that we decided to leave it in...
What do you think of the cinematic deaths so far? Excited for more? Let your voice be heard in the comments below!